NRG Controls Resources 2022-2023
Robot Car Controllers
For the Fall, 2022 NRG season, we adopted using RadioLink T8S RC controllers to drive the robot cars during the NRG Block Battle tournament. Code Red provides controllers for practice and for the NRG competition. If you wish, you may purchase your own controller from Amazon here (be sure to order the one where the “Color” is set to “Dual Stick Self Center“). Below are steps to modify the transmitter and receiver programming to be compatible with the Arduino competition sketches.
Robot Car Programming
Using the RadioLink T8S controller and receiver with the ELEGOO Robot Car for NRG practice and competition requires a new Arduino sketch (i.e. computer program ) be uploaded to the car that is different than the smartphone based sketch that came preloaded with the kit.
Code Red will have a PC available to upload the competition sketch to you robot car for practice and competition. After the competition, you may choose to keep the competition sketch on the robot car, or reload the smartphone app controlled sketch. If you what to switch programs yourself at home, you will need the Arduino IDE application and the sketch files to upload to your robot car.
You can download the Arduino IDE 2.x.x (Integrated Development Environment) here. Read these tutorials on the Arduino IDE 2 Tutorials page to get started:
Note: Before uploading to the robot car:
- On Version 3+ cars, ensure the Bluetooth module is removed.
- On Version 4 cars, ensure the switch on the driver’s side of the top shield (i.e. the top circuit board) is set to “upload”
Code Red Competition Sketches — This link: code_red_ppm_sketches will download a zip file with three folders in it representing the three different robot car hardware configurations. Copy the appropriate folder for your robot car to the “My Documents\Arduino” folder.
- Folder code_red_nrg_elegoo_V3(plus)_ppm_car_control_L298N_v1 — Copy this sketch folder for Version 3+ robot cars.
- Folder code_red_nrg_elegoo_V4(a)_ppm_car_control_DRV8835_v1 — Copy this sketch folder for Version 4 robot cars with the DRV8835 motor controller chip. No current student V4 robot car kits use this chip.
- Folder code_red_nrg_elegoo_V4(b)_ppm_car_control_TB6612_v1 — Copy this sketch folder for Version 4 robot cars with the TB6612 motor controller chip. ALL current student V4 robot car kits use this chip. COPY THIS ONE!
Parent Developed Sketch — Jeff Shields graciously modified the ELEGOO smartphone sketch to adapt it to the RadioLink T8S controller. It allows for using Tank Drive or Arcade Drive robot control modes. And it allows for the remote adjustment of the robot car’s top speed.
- Jeff’s elegoo-car-ppm sketch is posted on GitHub here: https://github.com/jeff42l/elegoo-car-ppm
ELEGOO Smartphone App Based Sketches
If you wish to use the default smartphone app based sketch on your robot car, here are the links to the ELEGOO site where the full documentation, including the sketches can be downloaded.
- Navigate to the ELEGOO Software Resources Page: https://www.elegoo.com/pages/arduino-kits-support-files
- On the left side menu, click on Robot Kits.
- For Version 3+ robot cars, click on ELEGOO Smart Robot Car Kit V3.0 Plus/V3.0/V2.0/V1.0 to expand the section, then click on ELEGOO Smart Robot Car Kit V3.0 Plus to download the ZIP file.
- For Version 4 robot cars, click on ELEGOO Smart Robot Car Kit V4.0 (with Camera) to expand the section, then click on the first ELEGOO Smart Robot Car Kit V4.0 link to download the ZIP file.
- Expand the ZIP file and copy the top folder listed into your “My Documents\Arduino” folder.
RadioLink T8S Transmitter and R8EF Receiver Programming
These step are a one-time change needed to make the controller compatible with the competition sketches:
- Either install the RadioLink smartphone app on your phone, or install the PC based program.
- Follow the directions in the T8S manual to connect the configuration app to the T8S controller.
- Once connected to the app, navigate to the BASIC screen.
- Change channel 3 -REV- column from REV to NORM. Click OK.
- Change channel 3 -F/S- column entry from 0 to 50. Click OK.
- Click the WRITE button to commit the changed to the T8S controller. You may now click Disconnect button to finish programming from the app.
- Use the Code Red supplied adaptor cable to connect the R8EF receiver to the top circuit board. On V3+ cars, use the Ultrasonic connector. On V4 cars, use the Line Follower connector.
- Plug the other end of the cable into the R8EF receiver on the PPM/CH 2 row of pins (second row from the bottom). With the R8EF label facing you, The adaptor wire facing you should be either white or orange. The R8EF indicator light will not light if the connector is installed incorrectly.
- The R8EF come from the factory in the PWM mode. This is indicated by a bright red indicator light on the top-side of the receiver. We need to change the receiver to the PPM mode.
- On the bottom-side of the receiver is a very small button. Press this twice (second press within one second of the first press). This will change the receiver into PPM mode indicated by a solid bright blue indicator light. This is a one time change.
The T8S and R8EF come from the factory already paired with each other. So re-pairing is normally not needed. If for some reason, it is required, the T8S owners manual contains the steps to re-pair the units.